What is my protection for out-of-network charges?

At the beginning of this year, congress passed the No Surprise Act.Under this law, consumers are no longer required to pay for out-of -network care given without their consent when they receive treatment at hospitals covered by their health insurance.

Under this legislature, your consent must be given at least 72 hours before receiving care, or, if the service is scheduled the same day, at least 3 hours in advance.

Unfortunately the law's protections are limited in scope to hospitals but do not applyto doctors offices, birthing centers, or most urgent care centers. Air ambulances, an exorbitant cost of non-network billing is covered but ground ambulances are not.

Lab offices are exempt from this bill as well, even if housed in the same building asyour doctor's office. Present your insurance cards at reception and ask, “are your services covered under my insurance?” Otherwise you may be charged out of network pricing for the tests.